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Thoughts on reading Willie's recent "Do We Need More DB2 Reference Materials?" post

Willie,
A week ago, I encountered a very frustrated analyst/colleague, who was having trouble absorbing enough knowledge of DB2 to understand why the changes she'd asked me for weren't working.  I tried to explain what was going on, and I think we reached a meeting of the minds, but one thing she said as she was leaving struck me (and I'm sorry I can't remember an exact quote!); she really wanted to learn enough about DB2 that the answers to mildly technical questions like this were no longer challenging.

I was dismayed, because I realized I couldn't point her to a single source which would let her begin her own voyage of discovery.

                                                                      *  *  *

As I look through the IBM Redbooks and DB2 Manuals today, I see a great deal of information, but it's intimidating even to me (and I'm no beginner!) to try to puzzle through it to get to what I want.

The mass of information needs at least two things:
1) a bunch of starting points for beginners, e.g.
*   "START HERE IF YOU DON'T KNOW DATABASES"
*   "START HERE IF YOU KNOW OTHER DATABASE(S) BUT DON'T KNOW DB2"
*   A pointer to Database terms and concepts in DB2 (Craig's book?  The DB2 Admin Guide Chapter 1?),

2)  A limited number of central points to which such knowledge can be posted, so that everyone knows where to point the new people to, and

3) Some indexing and concordance work which incorporates the DB2 Manuals, the Redbooks, the main references such as Craig's book.  Maybe a wiki with a user-updateable tagging facility so that topics have the kind of search words the users naturally think of, associated with them?  Or maybe a Library-of-Congress style topical index?  I don't know... but it's pretty chaotic looking from the outside.

 

There's a _lot_ of stuff that I've stumbled across, looking for one thing and finding another, and while the thrill of discovery is nice, the fact is there's no way I can look through a table of contents and _find_ this stuff unless I just search the Redbooks for DB2 and look at _all_ the titles... and read every table-of-contents in the Product Documentation... and read the table-of-contents _and_ the indexes of the major externally authored references. 

 

There's got to be a better way, doesn't there?

 

-phil s., 5/16/2011

 

Ref.: W. Favero, "Do we need more DB2 reference materials?", http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/db2zos/do-we-need-more-db2-reference-ma...

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